Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Book Review: The Carolyne Letters

By Sara Steven

Set in the 1960s, this uniquely written novel centers around Amelia, a young naive college student who has fallen in love with Geoff, an emotionally unavailable young man. When Amelia discovers that she is pregnant, there are three options available to her: keeping her child, abortion, or adoption. Told in Amelia’s own perspective in diary fashion, The Carolyne Letters takes a hard look at reality. Amelia knows in her heart the struggles she will face (and the stigma surrounding her "delicate" situation) if she decides to keep her baby, but she also knows the pain she’ll endure if she chooses to give her baby to strangers. Abortion is cruel, but it’s still an option- and it’s the choice that Geoff supports. Amelia is fully aware of the consequences of each and every decision she makes, and it makes the outcome that much harder to deal with.

Amelia shares the outcome (dependent on the decision made) through reflective letters that are written years later. I appreciated that tremendously. I'm a mother myself, and remember how I felt while pregnant with my first child. It could be daunting, and at times confusing. For Amelia, add to that the pressures that come from her family, as well as the views society had at that time regarding unwed mothers. It's a lot for a young woman to shoulder alone, and Calkin describes Amelia's internal struggles beautifully.

Will Amelia decide to keep her baby? Will the love between Geoff and Amelia survive? It’s a realistic take on subject matter that it still very relevant for today.

Thanks to BookSparks PR for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sara Steven is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys in Bellevue, NE. When she’s not running marathons, or working on her novel, she takes a break and opens up a good book (or turns on her Nook). Find her at her blog.

About the Author: Abigail B. Calkin’s first novel, Nikolin, was a finalist for the 1994 Benjamin Franklin Award. She is currently working on her third novel, a historical fiction sequel to Nikolin. She is a consulting editor for the Journal of Precision Teaching. Raised in Framingham Centre, Massachusetts, and New York’s Greenwich Village, she now lives in rural Alaska. You can learn more about her at her website.

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